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Cleansing Conditioners: How To Use Them And 7 Picks To Try

woman rinsing hair in shower with cleansing conditioner

Shampooing your hair may feel like the most effortless part of your hair care routine, but it’s still one of the beauty world’s hottest debate topics. Should you wash your hair every day or skip a day or two in between? Should dry shampoo actually replace your day-two lather and rinse? Now, the “no poo" method—washing your hair without the lather of traditional shampoo—is being talked about thanks to cleansing conditioners. 

Wondering what exactly cleansing conditioners are and, more importantly, if you need one in your routine? Whether you have dark brown hair or ash blonde strands, keep scrolling for everything you need to know.

What is a cleansing conditioner?

Think of cleansing conditioners as a shampoo and conditioner all in one—the gentle formulas cleanse your strands while conditioning, detangling, and adding shine. Unlike traditional shampoo, cleansing conditioner is free of detergents and foaming agents that can sometimes leave hair dry, dull, or damaged if overused. 

To use cleansing conditioner, simply massage a few pumps throughout wet hair, distribute the product evenly throughout your mane and thoroughly rinse as you would with regular shampoo. If you are unsure about completely trading in your shampoo for a cleansing conditioner consult with a hair care professional to determine what’s right for your hair.

Who should be using a cleansing conditioner?

Whether you’re dealing with fine, brittle strands or product buildup, there are cleansing conditioners formulated to tackle almost any hair type and concern.

If you’re experiencing any of these hair woes, or simply need a breather from your regular shampoo routine, it might be time to switch to a cleansing conditioner. Luckily, we’ve narrowed down a few of our favorites to simplify your search. 

The Best Cleansing Conditioners To Try

mizani cleansing conditioner

Mizani True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner

Working with dry curls? Gently cleanse, and condition in one step with Mizani’s True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner. This co-wash helps aid in retaining moisture and helps maintain the natural curl pattern for touchable texture.

Mizani True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner, $24.00 MSRP

shu uemura cleansing conditioner

Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Essence Absolue Cleansing Milk Conditioner

If you’re dealing with extra parched, brittle strands, you’ll need a cleansing conditioner formulated to combat extreme dryness. Infused with camellia oil, the Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Essence Absolue Cleansing Milk Conditioner envelopes the hair fiber to condition and gently smooth away impurities. 

Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Essence Absolue Cleansing Milk Conditioner, $58.00 MSRP

redken cleansing conditioner

Redken Curvaceous Low Foam Cleanser

Whether you’re working with loose curls or tightly-coiled ringlets, the Redken Curvaceous Low Foam Cleanser is perfect for any curl type. Formulated with the brand’s exclusive Curl Memory Complex with sugar crystals, moringa oil, and a UV filter, this curly hair shampoo preserves moisture and defines shape while giving hair increased manageability, frizz control, and shine. 

Redken Curvaceous Low Foam Cleanser, $20.00 MSRP

pureology vinegar hair rinse

Pureology Vinegar Hair Rinse

While this isn’t exactly a cleansing conditioner, Pureology’s Vinegar Hair Rinse offers many of the same benefits that we love about them. The product smooths, adds shine, enhances color vibrancy, and helps hydrate and purify hair without drying or stripping. 

Pureology Vinegar Hair Rinse, $29.00 MSRP

briogeo cleansing conditioner

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado And Quinoa Co-Wash

Whether your strands are feeling the effects of salon color, a keratin treatment, or a chemical relaxer, you’ll want to swap your regular shampoo with  Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado And Quinoa Co-Wash. This four-in-one formula cleanses, conditions, detangles, and nourishes hair without stripping it of its natural oils. 

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado And Quinoa Co-Wash, $32.00 MSRP

kristin ess cleansing conditioner

KristIn Ess Frizz Management Cleansing Conditioner

If youre frizz-fighting creams and serums aren’t doing the trick, tame your mane with  Kristin Ess Frizz Management Curl Cleansing Conditioner. The formula cleans hair without stripping your hair of its natural oils to help keep it moisturized while protecting against humidity and damage

KristIn Ess Frizz Management Cleansing Conditioner, $14.00 MSRP

r+co analog cleansing conditioner

R+CO Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner

Looking for an extra lightweight formula? Opt for the R+CO Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner. The weightless foam formula softens and conditions color-treated, dry, or coarse hair. 

R+CO Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner, $32.00 MSRP

Interested in more personalized product recommendations? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.